On a walk around Grand, Chicago, Ogden, and Elizabeth, I found an umbrella.

In my grandmother's house in Tennessee I found an umbrella after she passed away. It looked like snake skin and I was afraid to take it. I did take it, though, in remembrance. It was not like any umbrella I had ever seen. It went up into a curved spire where most umbrellas curve into a dome. I rarely used it for rain coverage because it had tiny holes around the spire. This was a few years ago.


A week ago I was walking in the late afternoon. I passed a couple of trashcans with junk around them. They were right around the corner from an antique and resale junk store. I saw two umbrellas among the debris. One was mottled with blue and purple flowers. I knew it was a mate to my grandmother's umbrella. I grabbed it and walked calmly around the corner. I didn't open it till I got home. It had the same curved spire. I had found a friend for my umbrella.


I opened the new umbrella in the house, though. Then a few nights later I had a nightmare. My grandmother was walking toward me on at the old house, where I found the first umbrella. She touched my cheek and fell on me. Then she disappeared. The next day it was raining and I took the snakeskin material umbrella out, even though it has tiny holes in it, because of the dream.


I walked around in all the spring puddles. It smelled wet and damp, always made by that umbrella because it still has a musty old house smell. I walked downtown with my roommate. No one was around because of the rain and the streets usually so claustrophobic were empty and comforting. We went to the 7-11. Then we walked around for a while enjoying the isolation.

When we got home I didn't have my umbrella. I knew that I was cursed because I opened the new umbrella in the house and because I had had the nightmare, I would never see my umbrella again. The found umbrella would never replace the original. My steps were heavy.

Epilogue: The next day the rain cleared and I went back to the 7-11. I had let my umbrella there because my hands were circling a fountain drink and I was distracted. They had kept it and so I sheepishly brought it home again. The curse was lifted.
That is my walking story.



- Bonnie Fortune